Lessons From Koko Black

by | Dec 2, 2015

News earlier this month that deliciously deluxe chocolate retailer, Koko Black had gone into voluntary administration was a little bit disconcerting. What if we end up with a deficit of really decent chocolate?!

More than that, however, it can be a little scary when a well-known and successful business goes belly up. We can’t help but think about our own small business and wonder how we’ll survive if someone like Koko Black can’t.

There are some valuable lessons in this occurrence, however.

First and foremost, it’s important to stop the catastrophising and dramatics and realise that Koko Black and their administrators are doing what they can to keep going. Koko Black made some judgemental errors in the past and now they are trying to rectify them.

It’s easy to throw your hands up and give up. It’s more beneficial to learn from failures, to recognise what has gone wrong, face up to it and do something about it. Shiny objects – and not decadent chocolate! – appears to be their downfall.

In statements made to the media, they explicitly stated that “The business expanded very rapidly and undertook a series of major projects over the past 18 months. In combination, the level of activity was beyond the resources of the business.”

Essentially, they bit off more than they could chew. While there is a lot of merit in stepping out of your comfort zone, taking on more than you are physically and resourcefully capable of doing can lead to your downfall. There may well be a very fine line between a bit more and too much, and this is something you may need to learn the hard way.

You can, of course, also sit down and carefully work through everything. Write down costs in terms of time and money, and the benefits of your plans. Always review your idea with someone who is more than happy to play devil’s advocate and throw some worst case scenarios and what ifs your way.

It can be a little depressing having someone shoot holes in your ideas and dreams, but it is worth the effort to work out how to prevent the holes from occurring before you need to fix them or sink! In short, plan and prepare, be realistic about what you can achieve, while not playing it too safe.

Learn from your mistakes, and more than that, acknowledge where you went wrong and accept responsibility for it.

Never give up. Once you planned, prepared, learnt and accepted, you can make headway in getting yourself back on the right track.

Finally, the biggest lesson of all is asking for help where you need it. Not just a devil’s advocate, but other advocates who can help spread the word about your business, and people who can provide you with the resources you may need.

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I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.
I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

2017-10-13T09:50:01+00:00

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.
I got to know Sophie through my previous employer where Sophie still handles the bookkeeping side of things. While we worked together I have found Sophie very accurate, punctual and very pleasant to work with. And recommend her highly.

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T09:55:05+00:00

Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:16:02+00:00

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
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2017-10-13T04:20:03+00:00

Chris Du Plessis
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I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!
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Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

2017-10-13T04:23:15+00:00

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

2017-10-13T09:21:50+00:00

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

2017-10-13T09:25:16+00:00

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

2017-10-13T09:28:24+00:00

Adam Dobson
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Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.